Music creates order out of chaos: for rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous. – Yehudi Menuhi
It is no longer shocking to hear violence being perpetrated by children of very tender age. One reason behind this modern phenomenon may be that emotions are not being channelized properly, and thus are spilling over into violence. As a former teacher myself, I can tell you that I have lost count of how many times parents of young aggressive children have asked me about whether creative movement will help their child modify his or her behavior. I am quite sure that a lot of other parents I am yet to meet have got the same burning question, so I am going to try my best to answer it here. But, what is creative movement? For one, creative movement is closely related to dance, and thus both terms are used interchangeably. Creative movement is an art form whose medium is the human body in motion. The four basic elements of dance are the body and its different parts and range of movement, and space, time, and energy (Stinson 1988).
Developing Body Awareness And Energy Control: One of the great advantages of participating in creative movement (such as dance classes) is that your child can develop not just an awareness of his or her body but also learn how to control their bodily movements at will, which in turn can be helpful when the child is performing other activities in social settings. Another advantage children will gain from creative movement; is learning to follow and listen to instructions. When children learn to listen and follow instructions they learn endurance and patience, virtues that for obvious reasons aid in the prevention of violence.
Developing Acceptable Social Behaviors: Additionally, creative movement classes help your child become skilled at fostering social relationships, as it teaches him both about his or her personal space as well as the space shared with others. Experts agree that most violent acts committed by children, come from those exhibiting anti-social behaviors. Going further, creative movement can serve as an emotional outlet for children when their mind is engulfed with intense negative emotions of any kind, such as anger or hatred, because it helps them to channelize these negative bodily energies into a better and more creative activity.
Building Your Child’s Imagination And Making Him A Problem Solver: You may or may not be aware of this one important fact about creative movement, but this activity helps to boost your child’s imagination, helping the brain develop faster problem solving skills. Just think about all the intrinsic minute details that a child’s brain must speedily synchronize in order to follow a coordinated body movement. As an extra bonus, dance or creative movement classes involve rhythms that follow numerical values, which is why it can also sharpen the ability of the brain to think in mathematical terms. In fact there is an educational program called Math & Movement which begins at pre-K and was created specifically to build on children’s natural love of movement and creative imagination to help them dominate basic math concepts.
Creative Movement on a Budget: In case a strict budget wouldn’t allow for formal classes (these can be pricey); you can get everything you need right at your home. All you need are some simple knickknacks and props such as costumes, scarves, musical instruments, streamers, as well as some fun music. Even classical music such as Beethoven’s 5th symphony can help loosen up those tense little bodies!
Like these tips, For more creative movement ideas, you can purchase my book Making Sense of Children Senses, Relaxation Strategies for the Chaotic Classroom at Amazon., or a book store near you.